Lawyers’ group tapped to help Comelec implement rules on campaign financing

Media Coverage,Press April 6, 2013 11:58 PM

Source: (Published 3 April 2013)

MANILA, Philippines—The Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente), a group of lawyers and law students advocating electoral reforms, has been tapped by the Commision on Elections (Comelec) to help the poll body implement its rules on campaign financing.

The Comelec confirmed yesterday that a memorandum of agreement was forged with Lente, which will assist the commission in drafting complaints and affidavits against candidates or groups that violate campaign finance regulations.

Lente will also conduct workshop and training for volunteer campaign finance monitors as well as briefings for political parties and candidates on campaign finance rules.

The group will participate in the audit, inspection and examination of all disclosure reports and records and organize complaints desks and call centers to help Comelec and its deputized law enforcement agencies respond to complaints.

Lente would deploy roving teams on election day to respond to various complaints concerning campaign finance rules and other election-related laws.

This developed even as the Comelec reported yesterday that senatorial bet JV Ejercito has placed the most number of campaign advertisements on television.

Based on the March 22 broadcast logs prepared by the Comelec’s Education and Information Department, Ejercito of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) had already consumed 26 of the 120-minute airtime allowed for each candidate per TV network.

UNA bets Ernesto Maceda and Richard Gordon logged 23 minutes each, followed by Juan Miguel Zubiri (19.25 minutes), Teddy Casiño (16.5 minutes), Jack Enrile (15.5 minutes), Ramon Magsaysay Jr. (14 minutes), Benigno “Bam” Aquino and Risa Hontiveros (13.75 minutes each), Juan Edgardo Angara (12 minutes), Alan Peter Cayetano (11.5 minutes), Legarda (11 minutes), and Grace Poe (10.5 minutes).

Others are Jamby Madrigal (7.5 minutes), Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel (7 minutes), Edward Hagedorn (5.25 minutes) and Nancy Binay (3.5 minutes).

UNA and LP have registered 52 minutes and 4.5 minutes, respectively.

Buhay was the only party-list group that placed TV advertisements with three minutes airtime.

Legarda, seeking re-election under the administration Team PNoy coalition, topped the list for radio advertisements with 44 minutes.

She was followed by Cynthia Villar (19 minutes), Ramon Magsaysay Jr. (10.5 minutes), and Casiño (6.75 minutes).

Records showed that the Liberal Party had placed six minutes of campaign propaganda.

Bagong Henerasyon party-list already consumed 26 minutes of radio airtime, while LPGMA party-list logged 13.5 minutes.

The data are based on the broadcast logs submitted by television and radio stations nationwide.

Under Comelec Resolution 9615, each candidate, registered political party and party-list group is allowed only an aggregate total of 120 minutes of campaign advertisements per television station.

For radio, they are allowed only 180 minutes each.

Overseas absentee voting

The Comelec is now intensifying preparations for the overseas absentee voting (OAV) which will be held from April 13 to May 13.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes and the other commissioners would be leading the voter’s education and preparations for the OAV in various Philippine posts abroad.

Last Monday, commissioner Grace Padaca left for Abu Dhabi, one of the countries with large Filipino communities. She will be there until April 8.

Commissioner Christian Robert Lim left yesterday for Hong Kong. He will stay there until Monday next week to meet the Filipinos there.

Commissioners Elias Yusoph is expected to leave for Saudi Arabia this week while commissioner Lucenito Tagle, head of the Committee on OAV, will go to Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Brillantes said he is going to Singapore on April 7 to personally monitor the preparations there.

In an earlier interview, Tagle noted the Comelec has expanded the postal voting for OAV to reach out to those stationed far from Philippine embassies and consulate offices.—Shiela Crisostomo with reports from Rhodina Villanueva, Roel Pareño, Alexis Romero, Rainier Allan Ronda

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